The past, you fill in the start and finish times, has been filled with extremes highs and desperate lows. They are obvious, especially if one is willing to listen. The full range of experiences is on display. Someone you know is looking for a new job. Someone you know is struggling to deal with the reality of the unknown. It is likely that you know at least one coming to terms with something extremely painful. Injustice, exploitation, and random events continue to conspire to bring out the worst in life. Meanwhile, others are celebrating the miracle of birth, relationships, and great milestones. The contrast is painful and joyous, often mixed in ways we do not, cannot understand.
While today may be more volatile than it has been in recent memory, the pain in life today is never new. Once, “there was a man in Lystra who couldn't walk. He sat there, crippled since the day of his birth.” (Acts 14.8) In any city, village, and community today, one will find others struggling with handicaps. We have more known wars, conflicts, and areas of cruel struggle. Evil flourishes, with new advocates and allies.
As I reflect on the highs and lows in my life, community, and the world at large, I heard a call to hope shaped action. The idea that anyone can afford to sidestep being involved seems to be a waste. In every situation, we hold freedom within us. In our relationships, casual and established, we have opportunities. In our conflicts and difficulties, we can exercise compassion and mercy. In short, we can reach for our ideals in and because of our weaknesses.
I long for a day absent of pain, anguish, and injustice.
I want a day filled with hope, opportunities, and dreams.
While evil seems always present, the day I want is your day and mine! You and I can do something with what we have. We can accept and appreciate life’s gifts. We can treasure the moments of beauty and wonder. We can marvel when others reach out and touch our lives.